Woolworths reduces reliance on plastic packaging

The retailer is working on removing or reducing plastic packaging on fresh-produce lines and claims to have removed 25.2 tonnes of plastic packaging from organic spring onions, celery, kale and English spinach lines in recent months.

A spokesperson for Woolworths says the supermarket chain is committed to reducing its use of plastic packaging and is working hard to address the over-packaging of products in its range.

“We have trials presently underway to remove or reduce plastic packaging on 28 fresh-produce lines such as tomatoes, lettuce and sweet potatoes,” the spokesperson said.

“Some packaging will continue to be used to preserve the life of a product throughout the supply chain and to extend the shelf life of products in-store and in the home. This is an important factor in cutting down food waste.”

To help support customers in recycling packaging, all Woolworths stores will also be offering flexible plastic recycling by June 30, 2018, via the RedCycle program. This is a closed-loop recycling system where customers can return soft plastic packaging used on produce, biscuit packets, frozen-food bags, rice and pasta bags, confectionery packets and shopping bags – which are then recycled by Woolworths’ recycling partners to be turned into recycled-plastic products such as outdoor furniture.

“We’re also the first supermarket retailer to begin and commit to applying the Australasian Recycling Label on our own-brand products to help make it easier for customers to understand how to recycle packaging correctly,” the spokesperson said.

“We’ll continue to work with our suppliers and remain fully committed to pursuing packaging alternatives that reduce the amount of plastic we use and improve the recyclability of our packaging.”

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